U.S. lifts some Trump-era restrictions on Cuba, including limits on travel and remittances

  

Category:  News & Politics

Via:  perrie-halpern  •  one month ago  •  14 comments

By:   Carmen Sesin

U.S. lifts some Trump-era restrictions on Cuba, including limits on travel and remittances
The Biden administration revises Cuba policy, including reversing restrictions on travel and remittances.

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T



The Biden administration announced Monday it will reverse some Trump-era restrictions on Cuba, including limits on travel and remittances, and boost visa processing in Havana.

The changes, the most significant in U.S.-Cuba policy since President Joe Biden took office, follow a lengthy policy review.

A senior U.S. official said the Biden administration will continue to elevate the matter of human rights, the treatment of political prisoners and labor rights in Cuba, as well as "empowering the Cuban people to determine their own future."

The U.S. will allow charter and commercial flights to airports outside Havana. During the Trump administration, flights to Cuba were restricted to only Havana's airport. A senior administration official also said that the U.S. will reinstate educational travel in groups under a general license but that it is not reinstating individual "people-to-people" educational travel.

Caps of $1,000 per quarter on family remittances will be lifted. Western Union closed its offices in Cuba in 2020 after President Donald Trump sanctioned its partner company, Fincimex, run by the military. Fincimex will remain under U.S. sanctions. The senior government official said the U.S. has underscored to Cuba the need to find a civilian entity that could process remittances to expand electronic payments.

Visa processing at the embassy in Havana will be increased, and the Cuban Family Reunification Parole Program will be reinstated. During the Trump administration, visa processing was greatly reduced after embassy personnel were affected by mysterious health incidents that became known as "Havana syndrome."

For the past few years, the U.S. has not processed the 20,000 annual migrant visas it agreed to almost three decades ago.

Cuba has been facing a severe economic crisis, with shortages in food and medicine, as well as soaring inflation due to sanctions and the coronavirus pandemic.

The number of Cuban migrants arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border has soared in recent months. Nearly 100,000 have been apprehended by Customs and Border Protection since October.

Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez wrote on Twitter that the U.S. government's announcement was "a limited step in the right direction" but criticized the U.S. for not modifying the embargo or removing Cuba from the list of state sponsors of terrorism.

Biden vowed when he was campaigning in 2020 that he would reverse "the failed Trump policies that inflicted harm on Cubans and their families." His administration had been conducting a lengthy review of Cuba policy.

Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., a Cuban American who is chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, said in a statement that the administration's announcement "risks sending the wrong message to the wrong people, at the wrong time and for all the wrong reasons."

"I am dismayed to learn the Biden administration will begin authorizing group travel to Cuba through visits akin to tourism," Menendez wrote. "To be clear, those who still believe that increasing travel will breed democracy in Cuba are simply in a state of denial."

The U.S. will host the Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles the week of June 6. Administration officials have been contending with blowback from leaders of some leftist countries after some U.S. officials hinted that Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua would not be invited.

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has said that "if everyone is not invited, I will not go."


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Buzz of the Orient
Professor Principal
1  Buzz of the Orient    one month ago
The U.S. will host the Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles the week of June 6..............Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has said that "if everyone is not invited, I will not go."

Good for Obrador - he can tell Biden to shove his American hegemony up his ass.  Let's see if Trudeau has the balls to say the same thing.  I watched him hug Fidel at his father's funeral. 

 
 
 
Ender
Professor Principal
1.1  Ender  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @1    one month ago

So maybe the left wing should adopt the right wing stance and be shittier to Mexico....

 
 
 
JBB
Professor Principal
2  JBB    one month ago

It is about time considering Casto is long dead now.

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
3  Gordy327    one month ago

When can I get some Cuban cigars? jrSmiley_13_smiley_image.gif

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Principal
3.1  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Gordy327 @3    one month ago

You reminded me of this story about the time when Bill Clinton invited Kinky Friedman to the White House....

And Mr. Clinton says Friedman rewarded him with a gift: "We're standing in this huge crowd, and Kinky Friedman pulls out this Cuban cigar, which is still illegal in America you know, and he said, 'I want you to have this, Mr. President.' I said, 'Do you know what you're doing to me?' … Everyone is looking at me. There's like 50 or 60 people staring around. He says, 'Don't think about it as helping their economy, think of it as burning their fields.' And the whole crowd just cracked up."
 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
3.1.1  Gordy327  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @3.1    one month ago

Heh. Good one jrSmiley_18_smiley_image.gif

 
 
 
Sparty On
Professor Principal
3.2  Sparty On  replied to  Gordy327 @3    one month ago

Why would you want to?    
They are generally over rated and/or over priced.    
Just like Socialism.

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
3.2.1  Gordy327  replied to  Sparty On @3.2    one month ago

Just to try one and see how it really is.

 
 
 
Sparty On
Professor Principal
3.2.2  Sparty On  replied to  Gordy327 @3.2.1    one month ago

They can be very good but you can get non Cubans that are as good for much less.

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
3.2.3  Gordy327  replied to  Sparty On @3.2.2    one month ago

I know there are cheaper alternatives of high quality. But I'd like to be able to say I had a big, fat Cuban stogie at least once. Maybe just to satisfy my own curiosity.

 
 
 
Sparty On
Professor Principal
3.2.4  Sparty On  replied to  Gordy327 @3.2.3    one month ago

Well then, I can recommend the Partagas Lusitania or Monte Cristo #2 Torpedo but get ready to open your wallet.    Wide!

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
3.2.5  Gordy327  replied to  Sparty On @3.2.4    one month ago

Thanks for the tip. I'll have to look into those.

 
 
 
Sparty On
Professor Principal
3.2.6  Sparty On  replied to  Gordy327 @3.2.5    one month ago

Anytime .... I’ve burned a couple sticks in my time.

 
 
 
Gsquared
Senior Expert
4  Gsquared    one month ago

If this provides better access to Cuban music, then good deal!

 
 

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